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magnitude/['mæɡnitju:d]/ n. 巨大, 重大, 重要, 大小, 数量, 星等(指星的亮...

关于圣诞老人的神秘传说

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 History tells us that the origin of Santa Claus begins in the 4th century with Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra (an area in present day Turkey). One of the legends tells about that he acquired a fortune when his parents died while he was still in his teens. By nature St.Nicholas was a generous and honest man, particularly devoted to children. He also cared deeply for the poor. He brought various gifts, money and other useful items to the houses of the poor. He did this at night, and in secrecy, so that no one knew, as he wanted no glory, he just wanted to help people. He became widely known for his generosity.

  据史料记载,圣诞老人的原型是公元4世纪的圣尼古拉斯,他是米拉(位于今土耳其境内)的主教。有一种传说认为在他十多岁的时候父母双亡,给他留下一大笔财产。圣尼古拉生来就是个慷慨正直的人,尤其喜爱孩子,还很关心穷苦人,给穷人家里送去各种礼物、钱以及其他有用的物品。他一般都是在夜里秘密地做这些事,这样就没人知道,因为他并不想获得什么赞颂,只是想帮助别人。很快,他就因自己的慷慨而广为人知。

  There is one famous legend about Saint Nicholas. The story tells of Nicholas hearing one day of three beautiful sisters who lived in a miserable hut on the edge of Myra. The three sisters were very poor. They could barely earn enough to keep themselves and their old mother from starving to death. When Nicholas heard of their plight, he was very concerned. He decided to do something to help them.

  有一个关于圣尼古拉斯的著名传说,讲的是有一天,尼古拉斯听说在米拉镇边界上一所简陋的小屋里住着美丽的三姐妹。她们非常穷,赚钱很少,几乎难以保证自己和老母亲不被饿死。尼古拉听说了三姐妹的悲惨境况后非常担忧,决定帮助她们。

  One night, when everyone was asleep, Nicholas crept through the streets to the edge of town. Quietly, he tiptoed up to the hut where the three sisters lived. He climbed onto the roof and dropped three bags of gold through the hole in the roof where the smoke from the fire came out. Now it so happened that the three sisters has washed their stockings before they went to bed. The stockings has been hung by the fire to dry. When Nicholas dropped the gold through the smoke hole, each bag of gold fell into a stocking.

  一天夜里,当大家都入睡后,尼古拉斯蹑手蹑脚地穿街走巷,来到了小镇边界。他悄悄地踮起脚走到三姐妹住的小屋旁,爬上屋顶,把三袋金子顺着房顶炉火冒烟的洞口扔了下去。而三姐妹上床前恰巧刚洗完自己的长袜,把它们挂在炉火旁烘干。就在尼古拉斯把金子透过烟囱扔下去时,每袋金子分别落入了一只袜子中。

  The three sisters were overjoyed to find three bags of gold in their stockings when they woke up the next morning. Soon, the story began to spread. Other people began to hang up stockings in the hope of finding bags of gold when they woke up in the morning. From this legend sprang the custom of hanging stockings up by the chimney on Christmas Eve. Over the years, Saint Nicholas became associated with Christmas.

  第二天一早,三姐妹醒来,发现她们的长袜里竟然有三袋金子,她们欣喜若狂。很快,这个故事便流传开来。其他人也开始把袜子挂起来,希望第二天早上醒来也能发现一袋袋的金子。圣诞夜那天把袜子挂在烟囱旁的习俗就是由这个传说而来。多年来,人们就把圣尼古拉斯与圣诞节联系在了一起。

  After his death around 350 A.D. he was buried in Myra, but in 1087 Italian sailors purportedly stole his remains and removed them to Bari, Italy, greatly increasing St. Nicholas' popularity throughout Europe. His kindness and reputation for generosity and love for children gave rise to claims that he could perform miracles and devotion to him increased. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of Russia, where he was famous for his red cape, flowing white beard, and bishop's mitre. In Greece, he is the patron saint of sailors; in France he was the patron of lawyers, and in Belgium the patron of children and travelers. The Dutch kept the legend of St. Nicholas alive. In 16th century Holland, Dutch children would place their wooden shoes by the hearth in hopes that they would be filled with a treat and goodies.

  尼古拉斯在约公元350年去世后,被葬于米拉;但据称在1087年,意大利水手们偷走了他的遗骨,转运到了意大利的(东南部港市)巴里,从而大大提升了尼古拉斯在整个欧洲的知名度。他的善良、慷慨以及对孩子的喜爱都让人们认为他会施魔法,人们更加热爱他了。尼古拉斯成了俄罗斯人的守护神,在那里,他以身披红斗篷,留着飘逸的白胡须,戴着主教法冠而闻名。在希腊,他是水手的守护神;在法国,他是律师的庇佑人;在比利时他则是孩子和旅行者的保护神。荷兰人一直都传颂着圣尼古拉的传说。在16世纪的荷兰,孩子们会把他们的木鞋放在壁炉边,希望里面会装满礼物和糖果。
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